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Library & Links

Whether you are a seasoned no-tiller or a beginner, you’ve probably come to no-till for improved profit potential, more efficient use of labor and capital, dramatic reductions in soil erosion, and preserving the environment. If you’re new to the concept, no-till (a.k.a. zero-till) is best defined as a continuous and permanent system of crop production whereby each new crop is seeded directly into the previous crop’s stubble (also known as stover) without any soil tillage or inversion. It’s a bit more than just growing crops in the absence of tillage, since crop rotation and cultural practices must now suppress or avoid some of the weeds and pests, and because equipment and techniques will change. To learn more about the science and practice of no-till farming, visit these websites (see links) or browse our online library below.

Seed Vigor: Reap the Rewards

In tandem with the mechanical aspects of attaining consistently good stand establishment, the oft-overlooked biological aspect of seed vigor plays a crucial role.

The Biology of Soil Compaction

It will change the way you think about soil compaction. Consider it required reading for anyone in farming. Or gardening!”

Emergence Uniformity Studies

Emergence uniformity and spacing uniformity studies conducted by Paul Jasa, Extension Engineer with U.Neb.-Lincoln, at Rogers Memorial Farm near Lincoln, NE.

Site #1 was upland on a silty clay loam, while #2 was bottomland silt loam. All trials were no-till into soybean stubble, with ~ 20 years of continuous, low-disturbance no-till history. Each year, Site #1 was planted by hand, while Site #2 was planted with a planter and the extra seeds slipped in by hand (and/or plants removed by hand). Three replications were used in ‘07 for each treatment, and 4 replications for 2008 – 2010. A population of 27,000 was used in ‘07 on upland (Site #1), but was increased to 30,000 thereafter.

Proper Seedbed Preparation

by Lyle Carter USDA-ARS Ag Engineer

“The soil to seed contact should be controlled with a seed firming device such as a seed firming wheel rather than by firming the covering soil…If the planter does not disturb the soil below the seed, if the seed is pressed into that soil and if the covering soil has less moisture and lower density or greater pore space, a soil textural discontinuity exists at seed midline or slightly above. This discontinuity retards water loss from below while the loose soil above dries quickly, allowing higher temperatures and increased air permeability.”

— Lyle Carter, ag engineer USDA-ARS, published in 1990

Dwayne Beck on fertilizer placement

“There is little or no evidence that strip till improves yields (as compared to proper no-till with fertilizer placement) sufficiently to overcome the additional costs and risks….In this series of [no-till] experiments, treatments that included both the pop-up and side-band starter blend placement were always in the high yield group. Using just one of the placements (side-band or pop-up) by itself was not as consistent.”

Proper Methods for Evaluating Plant Spacing

by Dwayne Beck

“Several years ago Bob Nielson from Purdue University proposed the idea of using the standard deviation of plant spacing measurements to evaluate planter performance. In a personal discussion, I intimated that it might be OK to use that measurement as long as the users understood the limitations. The point is it should only be used to make comparisons where NEITHER row-spacing or population change. When these factors change the Standard Deviation number could be misleading. Since we are doing some evaluation work on our electric drive and closing system studies it might be the right time to revisit this issue.”

For general information on No-Till, use the links below:
AVEC of Argentina brings superior technology to no-till seeding.
An AVEC drill at Dakota Lakes Research Farm. AVEC drills are not marketed in North America.

Chris Horton

Chris Horton brings 25 years of management with him. He grew up on his grandparents farm in Reno County Kansas where they mainly grew wheat and cattle feed. He worked on feed lots as a pen rider and cow-calf operations before moving to Southern California where Chris started a new career in the transportation and transport logistics, eventually managing the western region for a large commercial vehicle leasing company. Chris moved home to Kansas, to manage a local Farmers Coop and then eventually the service dept for a tractor dealership. The opportunity to join the Exapta team came up, and he knew he wanted to be a part of this team.

Bob Pagel

Sales & Service Representative

Prior to joining Exapta, Bob Pagel was an Agricultural Territory Sales Manager for Ritchie Brothers, serving parts of MN, WI and IA. He continues to support his family farm in SE Minnesota.

Jon Zeller

Current Product Engineer

Jonathan Zeller joined Exapta excited to return to working with no-till planting equipment. He supported research of no-till planting and other ag related projects for 7 years with Kansas State University’s Agricultural Engineering Department after getting his engineering degree. He later worked 3 years for Landoll Company, LLC. where he gained experience in a design engineering role. Jonathan grew up on a small family farm in NE Kansas working with row crops, hay and cattle. Jonathan enjoys solving engineering problems and improving or creating products to be robust and easy to install and service.